Archivo de la categoría: literature

First impressions

In this entry of the e-portfolio I decided to work on an activity from when we were starting with ‘All my Sons’. I chose the activity in which we analyzed the characters only from their first appearance as Miller described them.

I chose this activity because I thought it would be interesting to see how we were or weren’t able to depicts the character’s personalities as they held up in continuity towards the ending.

The activity

ALL MY SONS

  1. Read below Miller’s descriptions of the characters as they appear on the stage for the first time. Using the list of adjectives given here, write the ones that you believe would best characterize the person in the boxes provided after each of Miller’s descriptions.
authoritarian
cheerful
compassionate
diet-conscious
faithful
fraternal
friendly
full-bodied
garrulous
gregarious
heavy
honest
idealistic
ill-tempered
(im)moral
(im)practical
instinctive
kind
loving
materialistic
powerful
romantic
sarcastic
self-conscious
self-demeaning
sensitive
simple-minded
sociable
strong
strong-willed
taciturn
talkative
tough
truthful
(un)confident
(un)expressive
(un)happy
(un)informed
(un)refined
(un)restrained
(un)sophisticated
weak
a.  (Joe) Keller “is nearing sixty. A heavy man of stolid mind and build, a businessman these many years, but with the imprint of the machine-shop worker and boss still upon him. When he reads, when he speaks, when he listens, it is with the terrible concentration of the uneducated man for whom there is still wonder in many commonly known things, a man whose judgments must be dredged out of experience and a peasant-like common sense. A man among men” (pp. 5-6).
 Adjectives: Full-bodied, Heavy, Moral, Powerful, Loving, Self-demanding, Strong, Strong-willed, tough, confident, unsophisticated, Garrulous
 
b.  Doctor (Jim) Bayliss: “A wry self-controlled man, an easy talker, but with a wisp of sadness that clings even to his self-effacing humor” (p. 6).
 Adjectives: kind, self conscious, self demeaning, sensitive, simple minded,sociable talkative, unhappy
 
c.  Frank (Lubey) “is thirty-two but balding. A pleasant, opinionated man, uncertain of himself, with a tendency toward peevishness when crossed, but always wanting it pleasant and neighborly” (p. 6).
 Adjectives: Cheerful, compassionate, friendly, kind, sensitive, sociable, talkative, happy,
 
d.  Sue (Bayliss): “She is rounding forty, an overweight woman who fears it” (p. 9).
 Adjectives: weak,
 
e.  Lydia (Lubey): “She is a robust, laughing girl of twenty-seven” (p. 10).
 Adjectives: cheerful, talkative, happy
 
f.  Chris (Keller): “He is thirty-two; like his father, solidly built, a listener. A man capable of immense affection and loyalty” (p. 11).
 Adjectives: Compassionate Faithful Friendly Loving Expressive
 
g.  Mother (Kate Keller): “She is in her early fifties, a woman of uncontrolled inspirations, and an overwhelming capacity for love” (p. 18).
 Adjectives: loving,  idealistic, romantic, expressive
 
h.  Ann (Deever) “is twenty-six, gentle but despite herself capable of holding fast to what she knows” (p. 23).
 Adjectives: moral, informed, truthful
 
i.  George (Deever) “is Chris’s age, but a paler man, now on the edge of his self-restraint. He speaks quietly, as though afraid to find himself screaming”(p.51).
 Adjectives: self-conscious, ill-tempered, restrained
 

Answer three questions with evidence from the text (minimum 100 words for each answer)

  1. What bad omens about Larry do we have in this act? Explain Kate’s dream.

The first bad omen we have related to Larry is when the tree falls close to his birthday, we know this because Frank was working on his horoscope. We learn that that tree was planted in memory of Larry, and having it blown down symbolizes that Larry is, in fact, contrary to Kate’s firm beliefs, is most likely dead. “Frank: {noticing tree} Hey, what happened to your tree? Keller:  Ain’t that awful?  The wind must’ve got it last night.  You heard the wind didn’t you?” This is a quote from when they see the tree that fell. 

Kate has a dream in which he sees Larry flying in his plane as he did in his trainings, “Remember the way he used to fly low past the house when he was in training?” she says, but there’s another detail, she dreams that he passes by, but instead he is high up, in the clouds. “Way, way up, where the clouds are.” This represents Larry in heaven, Kate has trouble accepting he is gone and dreams of his death.

  1. Explain how Keller faced the people after the trial. What was the result? What does this show about Joe Keller’s character?
  2. “We’ve made a terrible mistake with mother”
    What was the problem from Chris’ point of view? And what was its solution? Did Joe agree with Chris?

The problem from Chris’s point of view is that they know something that Kate doesn’t about Larry’s death which is wrong not to tell her. He says, “Chris: You know Larry’s not coming back and I know it.  Why do we allow her to go on thinking that we believe with her?”. Chris thinks that the solution to them hiding the secret from Kate is to just tell her, as it has been 3 years already. Joe instead says “Keller: {frightened at the thought} You can’t say that to her.” He argues that Chris has no proof that Larry is dead, he says there’s no body or coffin, and telling Kate could lead to Larry’s mystery getting to the newspaper, which is dangerous for them.

  1. What was Chris ashamed of? What does he feel guilty for?

Chris is ashamed of their family’s money, he thinks it is not “moral” money. He is afraid that his father was partly guilty of the plane accidents too. This isn’t explicitly said by any of the characters but its implicit in how Joe has to reassure once and once again to Chris that they did nothing wrong. “Chris: (angry) I don’t know what you’re talking about. Keller: (a little more combatively) I’m just talkin’. To his last day in court the man blamed it all on me… and his is his daughter.  I mean if she was sent here to find out something? Chris: (angered) Why? What’s there to find out?” We can tell Chris suspects something by the directions, he is angry, he suspects something.

  1. What is the significance of the newspaper in the first act of ”All My Sons”?
  2. How do societal pressures impact the American dream in All My Sons?
  3. What is the dramatic effect of closing lines of Act 1?

Reflection

Well, for starters, I definitely can tell that in this play first impressions weren’t really to be trusted. I think it is very interesting how we described these characters, especially now knowing how WRONG I was.

But anyway, I think the way of learning we applied in this activity is quite unique and very reliying great intuition. We basically had to predict characters’ behaviors and guess their personality based on first impressions and how guessed they would develop in the future. I think it is a good exercise for practicing analysis when lacking information, which is something that could prove very useful in environments where we are expected to learn without much teaching.

Maybe is self-bias knowing how the story plays out, but I would assume that I did not put all of my effort into this activity because the adjectives used are not very well put and associated with the characters. I would be interested to do similar activities, with association and reliance on intuition.

All My Sons pre-reading

Arthur Miller

 

  1. He was born in 1915
  2. He is a playwright
  3. He was married 3 times
  4. He debuted in broadway in 1944, with The Man Who Had All The Luck
  5. He won a Tony award in 1947 with All My Sons
  6. He released Death Of A Salesman in 1949
  7. With this last hit came a lot of prizes, the Pulitzer, a Tony, and more
  8. He was married to Marilyn Monroe
  9. Marilyn Monroe raised him to the Hollywood stardom
  10. He died in 2005

 

Part 2

 

  • How would you define a responsible person?

Someone who doesn’t fail in doing what they are supposed to do in certain situations and has good criteria.

  • Are you a responsible person? Why or why not? Give examples of people you know in your personal life or in the public domain who are responsible. How do these individuals support your definition?

Yes, I would consider I’m responsible but not that much. I believe I comply with the common criteria but I tend to forget to do things such as homework for example. I think my parents are very responsible. They don’t miss work often, they take good care of us, etc.

  • How does one learn to become a responsible person?
    Who are the “teachers” and where do we find them in our lives?

I think we learn to be responsible for others. Teachers are those who, basically teach us. But this doesn’t mean they have to teach us school subjects for example. Anything from life lessons to math is learning that teachers can transmit. We can find them very easily, not only in school but if we pay attention we can see teachers in even advice from our friends and family.

  • Is being responsible for a character trait that you value a lot?
    Why or why not?

I don’t really have a strong opinion on it. But I think if I were to be with someone I’d get tired of them really easily if they are irresponsible. I many times feel as if people who are irresponsible don’t care about others, which is not nice.

  • The Golden Rule is “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.” What does this statement mean? Can you think of a situation in your own life in which you used this statement as the guiding principle for the action that you took? If “yes,” explain.

It means that you should treat others as you’d like to be treated yourself. I can’t think of a concrete example, but usually, when someone asks me for a favor I give it to them because I know I’d appreciate them a lot if they were to do that for me.

 

A view from the bridge chart

 

Character Quotation Explanation Effect on readers
Rodolpho 1)If in my hands I take a little bird. And she grows and wishes to fly. But I will not let her out of my hands because I love her so much, is that right for me to do?

2)I am furious! Goes to her. Do you think I am so desperate?[…]You think I would carry on my back a woman that I didn’t love just to be an American? It’s so wonderful? You think we don’t have talk building in Italy? Electric lights? No wide streets? No automobiles? Only work we don’t have. I want to be an American so I can work, that is the only Wonder here-work! How can you insult me, Catherine?

1)What Rodolpho means here is that he wouldn’t ruin a life for love. If you love someone, let them be happy no matter what. That’s what love is about.

2)Rodolpho feels insulted by Katie. He feels like Catherine thinks that she is the prize for the immigrant who escaped from Italy. He feels that Catherine insults Italy and says that USA is much better. He says that the only thing they don’t have in Italy is jobs. And that he wouldn’t carry a woman just to be american. Because that wouldn’t be love, but an insult towards his country.

1)Rodolpho is very mature, he understands what is and what is not love. He struggles to make Katie, an innocent, immature girl understand.

2)This again clearly shows us Rodolpho’s maturity. He clearly understand (again) how love and life in general work. He loves his country. This is a very shocking moment in the play as we are revealed a big part of the young Italian’s personality.

Eddie 1)Pack it up. Go ahead. Get your stuff and get outta here. Catherine instantly turns and walks towards the bedroom, and Eddie grabs her arm. Where you going?

2)He reaches out suddenly, draws her to him, and as she strives to free herself he kisses her on the mouth.

1) Eddie is sick of Rodolpho. He is jealous of him and wants him to go back to Italy, dead or alive. He wants Katie for herself, and that is impossible with Rodolpho in the way.

2)This quote confirms what we already suspected from Eddie. He sees Katie as a woman and not his daughter.

We are really shocked in this scene, as everything we suspected and wished not to happen, happens, and Eddie unleashes his anger in Rodolpho

2) This moment is of total epiphany as Eddie not only confirms his not correspondencia love for Katie, but puts it in action.

Catherine 1)Well, you’re always saying it’s so beautiful there, with the mountains and the ocean and all the –

2) I’m afraid of Eddie here.

1)In this quote Catherine proves her innocence. She believes Italy is just beautiful trees. She just doesn´t understand more mature stuff, like the crisis Italy was going through.

2)Catherine realized that Eddie was  behaving suspiciously. She knows that he is up to something, but doesn’t know what.

1)Catherine’s speech makes us desperate. We are almost in the climax, and she still doesn’t know what is going on.

2)This is another epiphanic moment. We get really surprised because after all, Catherine can think, and she is not so much of the ignorant girl we knew.

 

Act 1

Act 1.

1)“Where you goin’ all dressed up?…What happened to your hair?” Are Eddie’s remarks to Catherine compliments or criticisms? Explain your answer

 

Eddie’s remarks are critics. He is being passive-aggressive about the way Katie dresses. He doesn’t want her to dress up nicely as she doesn’t like man watching her, especially Rodolpho

 

2) What do Eddie’s comments on Catherine’s current behaviour suggest about his relationship with her?

 

He loves her. Too much. He got to a point in which he is strangely attached to her and believes no man is worth of her love. He doesn’t like the way he dresses, walk, or just IS around men.

 

3) To what extent does Eddie send Catherine mixed messages by his contradictory language, telling her on the one hand ‘You’re a baby’s and on the other hand ‘You’re getting to be a big girl now’?

Eddie is telling that she is a baby and at the same time that she is grown up. His confuses Catherine and makes her act like a baby while thinking like an adult. An example of this is when we find out that Catherine walks in her panties around Eddie as if she were a baby, while she wants to be let to go to work.

 

4)What is revealed about Eddie’s character from the following?

 

  • Beatrice’s comment: “I’m just afraid if it don’t turn out good you’ll be mad at me”.

 

 

This tells us that Eddie is a jealous man and that Beatrice as well as himself want time for each other to be together without all the family.

 

 

  • His pattern of 3 questions: “What’s all this about? Where’s she goin’?… What’s goin’ on?”

 

Eddie is very lost respecting Katie’s life and he is very conservative about her and doesn’t want her to call men’s attention.

 

 

  • His negative language: “No-no… not wonderful…never get nowheres… no job”.

 

He doesn’t agree with nothing. He can’t make up his mind and sends multiple mixed messages.

 

 

  • On debating Catherine’s job: “That ain’t what I wanted, though

 

This tells us about Eddie that, ad previously said, he can’t make up his mind and I’d a carry-on.

 

5) What sort of relationship does Eddie have with his wife?

 

Eddie and Beatrice are in a difficult relationship due to Katie’s integration. Catherine makes the relationship interrupted and doesn’t let them time for themselves. They constantly have to worry about everything leaving them with no time to worry about them. That’s way B is jealous of Katie.

 

6) Eddie directly calls Catherine a variety of affectionate terms, such as ‘Katie… kid… a baby…. A big girl…. Madonna(i.e. the Virgin Mary)… Garbo’- Discuss how each one gives a different view of Catherine in his eyes.

 

The ways in which Eddie calls Catherine reinforces what we said about him sending mixed messages. On the one hand he calls her ‘Katie… kid… a baby…” making her feel like he has no problem with her behaving as one. In the other hand he compares her to famous women. “Garbo” and “Madonna” are a few examples of the ways he calls her. Later on we find out that this is the way he really sees her.

 

1) What do the following suggest about Catherine’s character at the start of the play?

 

  • Her persistent repetition of the question “You like it?” to Eddie

 

Katie needs Eddie’s approval for everything and doesn’t want to disappoint him.

 

  • Her body language “[She sits on her heels beside him.]”

 

She feels protected by him so she stays close him.

 

  • She is “[almost in tears because he disapproves.]”

 

As before said, she needs Eddie’s approval to be happy herself, which is why she cries in this moment.

 

2) How does Beatrice backup Catherine’s case for taking the job?

 

The main reason Beatrice wants Katie to get the job is because she is not a baby anymore. This is what he uses as her main argument. But also secretly, she wants her to go to have some time alone with Eddie.

 

3)”Stay there! I’ll get it for you… Here! I’ll light it for you!’ To what extent do you think Catherine tries too hard to please Eddie and is therefore partly responsible for his possessiveness towards her?

 

Katie tries too hard to please Eddie because she feels Eddie tried to hard to please her and to take care of her when she was a child. She is always helping Eddie, and like that confusing him. Eddie acts as if she belonged to him and she couldn’t act for herself. I think this is katie’s fault.

 

4)How far are we surprised by Catherine’s question to Rodolpho regarding his marital status, bearing in mind her earlier focus on hum when he first arrived?

 

We are not at all surprised. Katie is from the beginning in love with Rodolpho and everything to do with him and from the beginning she wants to marry him.

5)How does Catherine react to Eddie’s suggestion that Rodolpho only wants to marry her to gain American citizenship?

She directly ignores this idea as she loves Rodolpho and is convinced Rodolpho loves her. She tells Eddie to shut up because it is all lies.

 

6)How important is Beatrice in Catherine’s development to womanhood?

 

B is extremely important for Katie’s development to womanhood. She does want her to go to work and to get married, contrary to Eddie.

One art – Elizabeth

One art, by Elizabeth Bishop

“The art of losing isn’t hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the int
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.
 
Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.
 
Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.
 
I lost my mother’s watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.
 
I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn’t a disaster.
 
—Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan’t have lied. It’s evident
the art of losing’s not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.” 
Our literature teacher gave us a task on Bishop’s poem, “One Art” [Here is the link to the task]
  1. I think that by “the art of losing” the writer refers to when you are forced to forget something or to get over it. At first, she is not so serious about it, and she mentions losing things not ‘that’ important, such as “keys”, but then she starts mentioning things such as “cities[…]a continent[…],y mother’s watch[…] you”. By mentioning a person, she takes the problem of losing to another level of serious, to a much higher one.
  2. I found the poem’s format/form very useful to understand it, as it helped organize things and make them clear. Also, she uses modern language, which makes it easier for us to read it
  3. The writer makes use of two main refrains that help for our understanding of the story. One is “The art of losing isn’t hard to master”/”The Art of losing’s not too hard to master”, which she uses to show us the clear message that the poem tries to point out. The repetition of these sentences explain very well the poem and make it clearer. The meaning of this phrase changes as at first is says that is really easy to master, but then it is actually more difficult. The other one is “disaster”, by using this word the author explains what losing/forgetting causes in life, this being not really a disaster at first, and then still, but looking like “(Write it!) Like disaster”
  4. We are supposed to believe that she overcome them, as although it may look like “Write it!) Like disaster” it “wasn’t a disaster”.
  5. Probably not so much, as we would think that losing a “mother’s watch” or even a “continent”, should actually be “a disaster”. Instead, she says that although it may look like “(Write it!) Like disaster” it “wasn’t a disaster”, which is kinda hard to believe.

Analysis

One art                                                                                                                ↧

VILLANELLE

  • 19 lines
  • 6 stanzas (5 treats 1 quartrian)
  • 2 refrains
  • 2 rhymes

Stanza 1➝ SETS THE THEME➝ Losing is part of life so we should get used to it and deal with it. Enjambment (L 2-3)

Stanza 2➝ Pedantic tone (arrogant). Accept it! Losing is part of life (keys, hours). Enjambment (L 1-2)

Stanza 3➝ Loses are more significant but still not ‘that’ important

Stanza 4➝  Personal level➝ Mother’s watch➝ emotional significant

Refrain➝ it becomes more important. She’s lying to herself

Stanza 5➝  Loses = cities/rivers/a continent Can you own this- Difficult to understand the writer now.- “Miss”➝What? Who?

Stanza 6➝  The loss = a beloved person- She realized she should´t have lied to herself!➝ Epiphanic stanza (self-discovery)➝IT´S HARD TO COME TO TERMS WITH LOSS.➝ It IS a disaster, ACCEPT IT!

2 Endings Neggative ending She´s still young to herself and can’t recover from her loss                                                                                                                  Possitive ending She feel like a ¨disaster” but she can recover. Life goes on

 

The moving finger, Edith Wharton

After reading chapter 3 and 4 of the short-story, “The moving finger”, we were given a task.

[Here is the link to the task]

1. Make a summary of part 3 and Part 4

Chapter 3

This chapter starts with Grancy talking about his wife and his need for women, I quote “[…] I suppose: the need of a pair of eyes that should see with me, of a pulse that should keep time with mine.” He says that he used to be happy, that he used to enjoy life, he says that her woman, Mrs. Grancy lit his life “[…]she lit up the caverns and bridged the abysses!”. Then, he starts talking about the painting, how Claydon caught the beauty in her, and how he appreciated him for that. But after her death, that appreciation turned to ‘hate’. As a result, he asks him to repaint the painting so that it would ‘age’ with him and he agrees.

Chapter 4

This chapter commences with Mr. Grancy being very ill and that the painting is the only thing keeping him ‘alive’ and moving forward. In this part of the story, the painting is being kept at Claydon’s studio. Then, Claydon repaints the paint again, without asking, but in a strange way, in a way that represents Mr. Grancy’s dead. “She knows,” says Claydon, to explain the repaint. Meaning that “she”, painting, “knows” that Mr. Grancy is going to die

2. Why did Grancy have the portrait changed? Find a quote to prove your answer

This because, after his second wife’s death, he feels that the painting looks depressing, uncanny and weird. “[…]A look that seemed to say: ‘Don’t you see that I am lonely too?’ And all at once it came over me how she would have hated to be left behind!

3. What happens to Grancy and Claydon in the end? Quote

In the end of chapter 4, Mr. Grancy gets sick again, and later in chapter 5, he dies. Probably, this happened because of Claydon’s painting, of Mrs. Grancy ‘who’ was driving him crazy. Claydon, instead, was driven crazy by the end of the story. He was so manipulated by Mrs. Grancy’s memory in him, that he ended up so mad, that he ‘killed’ his friend and repaint the only remains of his wife, making her the beautiful image that was put in his mind when cheating. 

4. Explain the title

I think that the moving finger refers to different targets to point. For example, first, the finger would point to Mr. Grancy’s first wife, then the second, the painting, etc. This theory could be reinforced by all the changes of narrators, all the changings of targets.

Also, the title refers to how the ‘doer’ in this story is the second Mrs. Grancy. She manipulated Claydon and the Narrator to do what she wanted them to do.  She first dated the narrator and got married. Then, she cheated on him with Claydon. As a result, both of them felt ‘owners’ of her, I quote, “But now she belongs to me,”. These were Claydon’s words,  showing evidence of how mad they both turned because of Mrs. Grancy’s charm, so, that the narrator’s friend turned his back on him and cheated with his woman. And later, by manipulating the only remain of his wife, the painting, slowly ‘killed’ him. So, the ‘finger’ would be Mrs. Grancy ‘moves’ to manipulate her puppets.

5. Can we say Grancy had 3 wives? Why?

Yes, we can. The three wives would be the first Mrs. Grancy, whose death turned Grancy into a ‘grown up’, the second Mrs. Grancy, the one that was painted, who allowed him to “burst into a flower”, and the painting, who kept him living and moving forward through illness.

6. What is uncanny in the story?

In this story, the uncanny thing would be the painting. Uncanny is when something familiar to us, in this case, the painting, turns into something terrifying, weird and creepy, and, most of the times, alive.

Analysis of “The moving finger”

Narrator ⇢  An instrumental character/ he has a viewpoint of the love triangle, and he tries to give order to the chaos this love affair provokes

Characterization

Mr. Grancy:  2 wives + the portrait= 3                                                                        ↳Possessive ⇢  Mrs. Grancy is rarely out of the house                                    |                                                    ↳Later, entrapped by a portrait                                |                               Claydon describes her as “the right frame for him”        |                                                                                                                        ↓                              |                                                                              Foreshadows the future painting      |                                                                                                                                                        ↳ Gradual decoy ⇢ wife-portrait-ghost-voice

Mrs. Grancy: Beautiful & young                                                                                       ↳ Committed adultery & she was “punished” with an early death                  after 3 years of marriage                                                                                           ↳ “Punished” by her husband who trapped her in a portrait!                          (OBJECTIFIED)                                                                                ↓                                                                                                                                      TOOK REVENGE                                                                                                                 /                               \                                                                                         Grancy died        Claydon went mad

Claydon: my masterpiece”                                                                                                     |                 ↳ exercising possesion                                                                                     ↳ visiting Mr. Grancy often just to see the painting                                         |                                                  (obsession)                                                                             ↳ Altered the portrait 3 times

MOTIF 3 ⇢ Holy trinity                                                                                                                                   |                                                                                                                                                  In this story “unholy”

THEMES

  • Sin
  • Guilt
  • Madness
  • Remorse
  • Repentance
  • Adultery

Elegy for my father’s father

He knew in the hour he died
That his heart had never spoken
In eighty years of days.
O for the tall tower broken
Memorial is denied:
And the unchanging cairn
That pipes could set ablaze
An aaronsrod and blossom.
They stood by the graveside
From his bitter veins born
And mourned him in their fashion.
A chain of sods in a day
He could slice and build
High as the head of a man
And a flowering cherry tree
On his walking shoulder held
Under the lion sun.
When he was old and blind
He sat in a curved chair
All day by the kitchen fire.
Many nights he had seen
The stars in their drunken dancing
Through the burning-glass of his mind
And sober knew the green
Boughs of heaven folding
The winter world in their hand.
The pride of his heart was dumb.
He knew in the hour he died
That his heart had never spoken
In song or bridal bed.
And the naked thought fell back
To a house by the waterside
And the leaves the wind had shaken
Then for a child’s sake:
To waves all night awake
With the dark mouths of the dead.
The tongues of water spoke
And his heart was unafraid.

Now that we’ve read the poem, we are doing an obituary on the protagonist’s death

Here is mine!: